Monday nights in the cave were pretty boring, especially during the off-season. The Boardwalk was usually shuttered during the winter months, at least during the week. Not many tourists during January, even if the weather was seasonably mild compared to the rest of the country.
Paul sighed, a sound that seemed to come from the whole of his body. Laying on his back along the curved side of the broken fountain that lay in the center of the main cave, he was bored. So very bored that even the tunes blaring from the rock box failed to interest him.
Marko, on the other hand, had curled up with a comic book on one of the broken-but-functional love seats they had pulled from the ruins.
"Maybe some weed will help pass the time," Paul mumbled, patting the front of his jacket pockets in search of a joint and a lighter. Presently he found the former but not the latter. "Hey bud, toss me your zippo!"
"Here," Marko answered by tossing the shiny silver lighter in Paul's direction without looking up from the engrossing story line of his comic book. It landed just short, in the dirt, sending up a small plume of dust.
Paul grunted, levering himself into a sitting position of the edge of the fountain, using his booted foot to push the lighter into his reach. Leaning over to retrieve it, a loud fart came from the backside of Paul's tight white jeans. The sound echoed off the vaulted ceiling of the cave. Paul sat up hastily, more shocked at what had come out of him then embarrassed.
"Dude. Dude!" Marko nearly dropped his comic book in a hasty effort to wave his hand in front of his nose, trying to clear the air. "That is foul!"
"We had Thai for dinner!" Paul groused. "Chicken tandoori and I don't get along!"
"No shit." Marko began waving the comic book at his face, squinting against the smell that stung his nose and eyes.
"Here, does this help?" Paul flicked the lighter open and sparked it, waving it around in an attempt to burn the smell from the air. Almost as if by magic, the thought struck his brain like lightning. Marko saw it on his friend's face.
"...what?" Marko asked tentatively.
"Haven't you ever done that?"
"Light your farts on fire?"
Marko refrained from rolling his eyes. "No."
"Dude, you're kidding!" Paul rocketed off the fountain's edge and bounded over to where Marko was sitting. "Every teenage boy has tried it, most without success, but at least they tried!"
"It's not really high on my to-do list," Marko grumbled as Paul bodily shoved him over to sit on the love seat beside him.
"Oh, oh, this is perfect!" Paul's face was lit up with excitement and anticipation. "I was so bored but this is something we gotta do!"
"'We'? Why we?" Marko tried to scramble off the love seat but Paul already had an iron grip on his forearms.
"I've done it, man. But you're a fart lighting virgin! It's your turn!" Paul grinned, pulling and tugging Marko so his best friend's legs were practically in the air and his butt was dangling off the edge of the cushions. "Now, load 'er up!"
"I am not farting on command! That's your expertise!" Marko wailed, unamused at the position he was in, trying to flail his way out of it.
"Dude! Quit it!" Paul growled as Marko's boot nearly connected with his jaw. He clamped his hand around one of Marko's ankles, holding his friend's leg aloft.
"Leggo! Leggo!" Marko howled.
Paul fished the silver lighter from his pocket and began to flick it, waiting for the flame to catch. "Stop moving, you keep putting out the flame, dude!"
Just then the lighter ignited and an orange flame sparked to life. Moving his hand down in front of the backside of Marko's jeans, Paul turned his head away. "It's lit! Now fire away!"
Marko stopped thrashing. The air in the cave was tense with anticipation. Paul held his breath. The lighter's flame flickered hard and went out.
"That's it?" Paul roared, outraged. He snapped the lighter shut and glared down at Marko, who was scowling up at him petulantly.
"I can't rip one on cue! I told you that!"
"That was weak, dude. My eyes aren't even watering!"
Suddenly, boot falls brought their attention to the cave's entrance. David surveyed the scene; Paul holding Marko's leg in the air, a lighter held before Marko's backside, Marko looking painfully embarrassed.
"Nope. I don't wanna know." David shook his head as he walked through the main cave, taking the long way around the fountain before disappearing into the tunnel towards the back of the cave.